A Midsummer(ish) Night’s Dream

Imogen Sheppard on her way to lowering her own 400m club record, set in June 2019, from 57.66 seconds to 57.31 at the Birchfield Harriers National Athletics League warm up event in Nuneaton last Sunday. This time moves Imy up to 13th place in the current UK rankings for her age category. I can’t quite believe she’s shown as an U23 on Power of 10 – how did that happen ?
Well it really is beginning to seem just like the old days.

This week the seniors, plus a few notable juniors, competed in the first proper Shakespeare Race for over a year and what a splendid event it was.

Several of our younger T&F athletes have been doing what they do best. Competing to the very best of their ability, achieving PBs, breaking club records and, best of all, enjoying themselves.

We also have reports on the Maverick Adidas Terrex Original Cotswold Trail Event ( catchy title!). I have to say that running through a muddy field full of inquisitive bullocks is not exactly my cup of tea but I have huge admiration for those who compete in such events. A couple of fell races back in the day did it for me.

Kate Sergent competed in the Windsor River Trail Run Half Marathon. Many thanks to Louise, Emma and Kate for their race reports. Keep them coming. No reports – no newsletter !

We had a handful of members competing in the Worcester full and half marathons, with Neil Wicks finishing in 4th place in the full and Ben Kruze, running as a Midlands Master member, winning the half.

Finally there are more wonderful photos from Jo Hutchinson taken at last Sunday’s junior endurance group session on the Welcombe Hills.

Take care.

Best Wishes

David Jones
Acelin Smith
Team Campbell – Tilly, Georgie and Ned.
Ned on his way to a 27 second, yes 27 second PB in the 800m.
Track and Field
As well as Imy’s 400m club record there have been a few other outstanding performances in T&F this past week.

At the Gloucester County Championships, U20 javelin thrower Acelin Smith threw 48.58 metres to win his heat by a metre. He now moves up to 13th in the current UK rankings for his age category.

At the same meeting U20 Emily Field collected a gold medal in the 800m, recording a time of 2:25.3.

Meanwhile at the Charnwood AC Open in Loughborough on Wednesday night, it was a hugely successful evening for Team Campbell, siblings Tilly, Georgie and Ned. Tilly was barely a second outside her 800m PB, running a time of 3:01.36, she also managed a PB of 6.45m in the shot put. Sister Georgie was just 11/100ths of a second outside her 1500m PB of 4:42.53, recording a time of 4:42.64. Georgie is now placed 25th in the current UK rankings for her age category. Ned obliterated his 800m PB by a scarcely believable 27 seconds, lowering his previous best time of 2:40 to 2:13.29.
The ageless and peerless Kate Wright on her way to comfortably finishing first female in Wednesday night’s Shakespeare Race.
John Peacock – First in the M65 category
A Midsummer(ish) Night’s Dream

The Return of a real Shakespeare Race

A perfect evening, if a little humid, greeted the first proper Shakespeare Race for well over a year. 65 members competed in the race which was won by 15 year old Alex Adams, finishing 15 seconds ahead of Matt Burdus-Cook.

It was glorious night, well organised and well marshalled as usual, with many members greeting each other for the first time in many a long day.

For the full results please click on the link below

Louise Stewart and Emma & Dave Parkin

Maverick Adidas Terrex Original Cotswolds.

Sudeley Castle

Reports – Louise Stewart and Emma Parkin.

I competed in this race last weekend, albeit treating it more as a training run.

It was very well organised, with lots of regular email updates and a virtual pre race briefing.

On site everything was clearly marked with lots of room for distancing. There was a series of staggered starts from 0900 onwards, with the long course people going off first in groups of no more than 6 at a time. I did the long course (23k), Dave & Emma Parkin did the middle distance course (16k).

The course was a good mix of surfaces and undulations, although as we all slogged up a tiny and very muddy path within the first mile, only then to go along the contour line and back down a farm track I wasn’t hugely impressed. However the route then became a bit more exciting, going through farms, estates and undulating fields of sheep.

Occasionally as the rain eased we were treated to some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and hills with the green and grey being pierced by golden fields of rape in full bloom.

There was a bit more paved track than I would have preferred although this was a good opportunity to just get on with it but there were also some beautiful more technical downs where I was able to overtake quite a few people.

A memorable moment came at 13 miles, with a field full of overly inquisitive bullocks sloping to a muddy swamp and a steep sided wide and deep stream with no option other than wading through.

Thankfully a group of ladies I’d been running with waited to make sure that I got across ok and we then chatted and ran together for the last mile to the end.

A nice bit of bling, coffee, beer and fruit/spice shots were waiting over the finish line.

My official time was 3.02.10. I was disappointed not to break 3 hours but having done a longer run last weekend and being at the start of a peak training block there was probably no point in caning it.

My moving time was 2.52, so perhaps if I hadn’t held gates open for faster people or stopped to help a fallen runner and a fallen cyclist I would have been under 3 hours.

Recent club member Emily Orton completed the longer route in an extremely impressive 2:09.54.

The winner did it in about 1.29 which was phenomenal in those conditions.

Emma Parkin.

Several SAC yellow vests could be spotted among the yellow fields of Gloucestershire on Saturday morning. A race felt like a real treat after such a long time without one and the low-key staggered start, as opposed to a mass exodus, was a nice way to ease gently back into things.

We took on the middle distance of 16km. The entry was a Christmas present from Dave to me, he also very kindly plodded round with me through muddy fields, narrow tracks and up and down many a slope. It was wonderful to be surrounded by the camaraderie of other runners and the encouragement of enthusiastic marshals once more. Favourite quote of the day was, “If you’ve got time to chat, you’ve got time to run faster!” We finished in 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Neil Wicks finishing in 4th place in the Worcester Marathon. Proud to wear the vest. Well done Neil.
Worcester Full and Half Marathon

The Worcester Full and Half Marathon returned at the weekend with the club’s Neil Wicks finishing in 4th place in the full marathon with a sub 3 hour time of 2:56.32. Owen Lewis was agonisingly close to dipping under 4 hours, being just 7/100ths of a second off, running 4:00.07. Maybe next time Owen.

In the half marathon we had 7 runners competing.

The race was won by club member Ben Kruze running for Midland Masters.

For full results please follow the link below.
Phil Brennan
I was a little concerned approaching my, and I suspect many others’, first run in company for 14 months I but need not have worried.

The start/finish at the Worcester Warriors Rugby Stadium allowed plenty of space to avoid overcrowding and the organisers, Tempo Events, had done a superb job to avoid bunching by organising both events as a time trial, with small groups setting out at one minute intervals over several hours.

In this way nearly 250 people in the half, and 150 in the full were able to run in a safe environment.

This put a lot of stress on the organisers and marshals but resulted in the happy buzz at the finish we have all missed.

Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to meet and greet as a team because of the extended start times.

That just left the race, which wasn’t brilliant from my point of view. My starting group of 6, who had all declared the same expected finish time, evaporated after about 300 yards, with one ahead and four somewhere behind, so I spent most of the race chasing my watch in isolation.

After what felt like months training in near-zero temperatures, the warm sun and humidity, together with the U-word – undulation, took its toll, and I finished slower than expected and feeling like there is more to be done to get race fit.
The club’s international marathon runner Kate Sergent after completing the Windsor half marathon at the weekend.
Royal Windsor River Trail Run.

Report – Kate Sergent.

On Sunday 16th May I completed my first half marathon since March 2020.

This event takes runners past the historical sites of Windsor, Boveney Lock, Bray, Dorney, Maidenhead and Eton, finishing with Windsor Castle in front of you!

Mainly following river trail paths, the course incorporates many of the key landmarks that have made Royal Berkshire and its surrounding area so famous. It’s an absolute must for anyone looking for a break from the pavement grind and a change of scenery.

It was so so good to enter a proper live race and I wasn’t dissapointed.

The organisation was superb with runners socially distanced and going off in pairs every 10 seconds.

Having done tons of half marathons, I am pretty experienced but still obviously learning something at every single one.

This time it was… the clue is in the title Kate… “Trail”…. I have a fabulous pair of trail shoes but decided to wear my road trainers. I regretted it within the first couple of miles as it was muddy and slippy after all the rain.

However the route was beautiful and I really did enjoy it.

I was pleased with my time of 2.15.34 considering the terrain , only a minute slower than my last half 14 months ago. ( I was 3rd over 60)

One day I might get everything right on the day!!

Look, listen and learn!
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Under this photo last week I stupidly credited Nikki Wodzisz with having done a PB in the high jump. It was in fact in the javelin. Many apologies Nikki
And Finally
More photos from Jo Hutchinson taken on the Welcombe Hills last Sunday morning.
And Finally Finally

I started this week’s newsletter with a photo of a super talented athletic member of the Sheppard family and I’m finishing it with one of Mike Sheppard !